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Old 07-19-2013, 06:35 PM   #1
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1959 24' Tradewind
Quantico , Virginia
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Water heater goes out occasionally...

Hi folks,

we have an Atwood G6-A7 water heater in our '59 Tradewind. Pilot lights fine, heats great, but occasionally the pilot will just go out leaving no hot water. I've got the temp adjust slider bar set just left of the "ideal" line. What might the issue be?
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Old 07-19-2013, 06:50 PM   #2
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I would install a new thermocoupling,and check to see that the pilot unit is protected against drafts.
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Old 07-19-2013, 07:22 PM   #3
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Just to expand on that, the thermocouple is metal probe with rounded end that sticks into edge of pilot light flame, or sits above it. If it fails, or is dying, it will cut off the gas to pilot light, and it quits. The tiny valve controlling flow to the pilot light burner might also need adjusting (I believe that model has small screw for adjustments), or it is possible new or refilled propane tank might have air in it... It may also be possible that the thermostat attached to side of tank has failed, and is sending signal to shut unit down.. Best guess is to replace entire thermocouple unit and get it positioned correctly above pilot flame...
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Old 10-21-2013, 04:57 PM   #4
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1981 31' Excella II
Richmond , Texas
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Question Similar problem with our 1981 Excella II

We have a similar problem of the pilot light going out.
OK...ready to replace the thermocouple....(but heck...I just replaced it 10 years ago!!!heh, heh).
Now I need a little education on thermocouples.....
The receptacle that holds it in position is rusty. Does that matter? or rephrased...is it supposed to be providing a ground for the thermocouple?

Maybe we don't need a new tc, just polish the receptacle??????

Always willing to learn!!!
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Old 10-21-2013, 06:16 PM   #5
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IIRC, when I bought a thermocouple and pilot light, it came with a new bracket which merely screwed in to replace the old one.

If you replace one of them, why not do both? They are both "consumables"...
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Old 10-21-2013, 06:27 PM   #6
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maybe it's time for a new non pilot water heater.. much better and no standing pilot to burn gas needlessly. just sayin.
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Old 10-21-2013, 08:24 PM   #7
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Have the same water heater, just replaced the Thermocoupler, everything working good so far.
Was having problems with the pilot going out sometime, then the pilot would burn fine, but the water heater burner would not light.
Bought the coupler on line. for got the company. shop around.
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Old 10-22-2013, 08:16 PM   #8
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1981 31' Excella II
Richmond , Texas
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Our heater is an Atwood G6A-3 with the ITT control.
Replaced the thermocouple today, but not getting the pilot to light at all.
Occasionally, after holding the knob against the 'pilot stop' I would turn it to ON and the burner would ignite and run for about 30 seconds and then just quit.
...just tried to light it again in the dark but see no evidence of the pilot lighting.

Any hints??????
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31' 1981 Excella II
2001 F-250 7.3D Crew w/8'bed and Pullrite 180degree

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Old 10-22-2013, 09:27 PM   #9
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Maybe another possibility. We just had Airstream in Jackson Center do an inspection of systems on our trailer and they found the pressure setting for the propane was slightly low, so they reset it properly. I know nothing about propane regulators; our only indication was the stove burners often took several attempts to light. Now they work fine.
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Old 10-22-2013, 09:39 PM   #10
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1981 31' Excella II
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Thanks...we were at Jackson Center having awnings and front guards installed. Wish we had had them tweak all systems!....but the hot water heater was working fine until 2 days ago.
I now have the pilot able to light, but when I turn the control to ON, the burner lights and runs for about 30 seconds and then goes out...and so does the pilot.
Very frustrating....
Thanks again for the response.
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Bob (K5RPS) and Gail (MAAAA)

31' 1981 Excella II
2001 F-250 7.3D Crew w/8'bed and Pullrite 180degree

"Ask the Man Who Owns One" (Packard, Of Course)
or
"Ask the Woman who lives with one...or more!" (Gail)
'
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Old 10-23-2013, 07:08 AM   #11
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I have seen the connections to the thermocouple get loose or corroded and this will cause the pilot to go out. Also the thermocouple should glow red hot it is in the right place in the flame. The valve that the thermocouple hooks to could also be bad. Make sure the pilot orfice does not have crap in it. Crap being water, oil, dirt rust etc.

Perry
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Old 10-23-2013, 09:14 PM   #12
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1981 31' Excella II
Richmond , Texas
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The REST of the story....

....the REST of the story.......

OK...we are on the road and several days with no hot water...for showers or dishes... and my thumbs are getting sore from the dang child proof lighters....
...so I relent and call a local RV repair guy.
He tries to light the pilot...and no luck....so he tells me the 32 year old ITT control box is the problem...'has seen it many times...'
.so I agree to have it replaced.

THEN....the pilot will STILL not light....

claims there is air in the system, so we go iinto light the stove....
STILL no gas.....

We unlock the 30 lb propane tank and it is heavy...(just as the gauge indicated...)

FINALLY.....he gets out his soapy water spray bottle and we find that there is a major leak just to the right of the knob which connects to the bottle..
(guess I should have done THAT check on day ONE!!!!!).
We switched the full bottle to the other line and the pilot light worked perfectly.

Bottom lline is.....start your diagnostics at the beginning...not at the end.....

...maybe I really didn't need a new control unit....but at least now we are mentally at ease of Ole81 being a bit more restored.....with some peace of mnd.....

Thanks to all who have taken the time to help analyze the problem...
We appreciate the camaraderie...and hope that this solution will help someone else down or up the road....
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Bob (K5RPS) and Gail (MAAAA)

31' 1981 Excella II
2001 F-250 7.3D Crew w/8'bed and Pullrite 180degree

"Ask the Man Who Owns One" (Packard, Of Course)
or
"Ask the Woman who lives with one...or more!" (Gail)
'
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Old 10-24-2013, 07:06 AM   #13
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1981 31' Excella II
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I was having problems with getting the furnace lit and I found that most of the problem was the flow was being restricted by a rubber hose coming out of the regulator that had swollen shut. I need to replace it with a stainless steel line.

Perry
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